Profiles of Schools/Colleges Offering Animation, Design, Gaming, and Media Related Programs

 

Our 2016 list of the Top 50 Public Animation School Programs in the US. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is home to the Animation Workshop of the School of Theater, Film and Television. Founded in 1948 by William Shull, a Disney animator, the UCLA Animation Workshop is a three-year MFA program (MFA in Film, Television, and Digital Media) that accepts just 12 new students each year.

Students applying to the MFA program come from a variety of backgrounds; some have earned a BA or BFA in art or film studies, applicants also come from English, engineering, architecture, psychology, communications, and more. Animation graduates have landed positions at Pixar Animation Studios, and every major animation studio in Southern California; they have gone on to direct features such as The Simpsons Movie and Monster House and have directed with Tim Burton producing (the feature film 9). 

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Our 2016 rankings of the Top 10 schools for game design in the Southwest US. 

We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 

The University of Utah (The U) is home more than 31,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world.  Founded in 1850, the school offers nearly 100 undergraduate programs and more than 90 graduate programs. The school houses 17 colleges and schools, and close to 100 departments. The College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts offer the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio (EAE:MGS). Tracks include Arts, Engineering, Technical Arts, and Production. According to the Studio, “all students in each of the tracks have a series of common classes including Game Design, Rapid Prototyping, Pre-Production, and Final Project.” In addition, students will “develop and enhance a professional game portfolio” and they will have the opportunity to complete an internship in the game industry.

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Our 2016 rankings of the Top 15 game design and development programs in the Midwest. 

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University (MSU) is home to approximately 50,543 students. enrolled in more than 200 programs across 17 colleges. Programs for aspiring game designers are offered through the College of Communication Arts and Sciences’ Media and Information (MI) Department. Program offerings include a BA and a BS in Media and Information with a Game Design and Development Specialization, a BS in Computer Science with a Game Design and Development Specialization, and a BA or BFA in Studio Art with a Game Design and Development Specialization.

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Our 2016 rankings of the top private animation schools on the East Coast. We define the East Coast as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is home to 2,481 students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. This private art school offers 32 art and design programs and it has a large Film/Animation/Video Department (FAV) where students can earn a BFA in Film/Animation/Video (BFA FAV). This program is one he schools top five most popular majors.

RISD graduates include famous animators and directors such as Seth Macfarlane, creator of Family Guy, Daniel Sousa, animator and director of the Oscar-nominated film Feral, and Lance Wilder, animator for The Simpsons.

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Our 2015 rankings of the top graphic design schools in the Midwest.

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Top 1% of schools considered)

Cranbrook Academy of Art dates back to 1932 when it was called The Academy of Art. Home to around 150 students, the school consists of 10 departments led by an Artist or Designer-in-Residence. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include an MFA in Graphic Design. The program, which places strong emphasis on studio work time and group critique, is offered through the 2D/graduate graphic design department.

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Our 2015 list of the Top 25 Public Graphic Design School Programs in the US. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (Top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is home to more than 31,000 students enrolled in around 226 certificate and degree programs across 13 schools and one college. The School of the Arts is home to the Department of Graphic Design. The Department offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers. Students may choose between the BFA in Graphic Design or the MFA with a Concentration in Visual Communications (Graphic Design).

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs on the West Coast. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California (Top 5% of schools considered)

Established in 1961, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. The school offers 70 programs at all degree levels, including several for aspiring graphic designers. Offerings include a BFA in Graphic Design, an MFA in Graphic Design, and an MFA in Graphic Design with a Specialization in Motion Graphics. The programs are offered through the through the School of Art. In addition to small class sizes (the school is home to 1,489 students), CalArts offers a variety of internship and study abroad opportunities as well as a variety of summer study programs.

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs in the Southwest. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (Top 5% of schools considered)

University of North Texas was founded in 1890 as Texas Normal College and Teachers’ Training Institute. It is home to more than 36,000 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Visual Arts & Design is home to the Design Department, which offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include a BFA in Communication Design (Graphic Design) and MA and MFA degrees in Design.

Housed in the Art Building, the Communication Design programs offer access to studio classrooms and design labs as well as resources such as 1,000-plus reference books and magazines and paper/print samples of photography, illustration, typography, graphic design and advertising.

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs in the South. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida (Top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1931 by circus baron, real estate developer, and noted art collector John Ringling, Ringling College of Art and Design opened just 75 students enrolled in 111 courses. Today, the school sits on a 35-acre campus that houses nearly 1,300 students enrolled in BA and BFA degree programs in 11 majors. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Graphic Design, which has been in existence 1980.

In existence since 1980, the graphic design teaches students to “create design solutions in print, motion, and interactive media with projects of all varieties.” Students gain real-world experience through internships with major firms and through “The Collaboratory,” which pairs teams of Ringling students with local businesses. Students also have the opportunity to work at RCADs in-house design firm on projects with external clients and for Ringling College events.

RCAD design graduates have landed positions at Google, Leo Burnett, Microsoft, Trader Joe's, Wieden + Kennedy, LinkedIn, Yahoo, American Greetings, and more.

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs on the East Coast. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island (Top 1% of schools considered)

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a private, not-for-profit, four-year art school. It is home to 2,014 undergraduate students and 435 graduate students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. This co-educational art school offers 32 degree programs, including graphic design—one of the RISD’s top five most popular majors. Offerings include a BFA in Graphic Design and a two- or three-year MFA in Graphic Design.

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